MadameNoire Featured Video
1 of 15

issues vegan diet

Source: svetikd / Getty

I was a vegan for three years and some change. I read this book about how our bodies were not made to consume any animal products—about how dairy was causing me to be constipated and causing mucus buildup, eggs were something my body literally rejected, and meat rotted inside of our intestines—and I was hooked on veganism. I also didn’t mind the drastic weight loss I experienced when I first became a vegan (it was really just because I didn’t know what to eat, so my refrigerator wasn’t stocked enough). I thought I’d be a vegan for life. I was certain there was no going back for me.

 

Today, I’m a full dairy-eating, meat-consuming, egg-gobbling individual. Veganism, it turned out, almost killed me. I’m sorry if that’s hard for some people to hear, but it did. I confirmed this was my physician. A vegan diet was so lacking in important nutrients, that my blood tests came back nearly toxic. That explained the insane headaches, muscle pains, fatigue, and depression I’d been experiencing.

 

I understand veganism has its merits. I’m not blind to the ethical and health reasons behind it. I mean hi, hello, I was a vegan for three years. I did see the light on many of the reasons people stop eating animal products. It was not easy for me to just flip a switch and stop being a vegan. I put a lot of thought into it, and I had to ease my body back into animal products slowly. But I did ultimately decide, without a doubt, that it was the right choice for me. I think everyone should be able to decide what’s best for their body. We seem to accept that surrounding things like birth control and abortion, so why not diet? Here’s why I stopped being a vegan, and how it saved my life.

issues vegan diet

Source: mixetto / Getty

My nutrients were screwed

B12, zinc, protein—these are all nutrients that can be hard to get on a vegan diet. B12 exclusively exists in animal products—at least in a natural way. You can buy vegan products fortified with the stuff, but even then, they wouldn’t have naturally contained it. It had to be added. Zinc is another food that’s tough to find in plant-based foods. It exists in them, but you must eat massive quantities of the stuff to get enough zinc.

issues vegan diet

Source: Moyo Studio / Getty

So I had health issues up the wazoo

Migraines. Depression. Bruising easily. Three to four colds a year. Fatigue (sleeping 14 hours a day, and still tired). Being low on these important nutrients destroyed my body. I had blood work done, and my doctor told me that had my B12 levels dropped any lower, I would have had to be hospitalized. My blood was nearly toxic. P.S. if you’re wondering if you’re low on B12, there are signs.

issues vegan diet

Source: Towfiqu Photography / Getty

What about supplements?

You may say, “So, just take supplements.” Supplements are a great thing—no doubt. But I did get to thinking: shouldn’t my diet provide me with the supplements that I need? If the foods I am choosing leave me so deficient in vitamins that, if I don’t take the artificial stuff (aka supplements) I’ll die, perhaps that’s a sign that that diet isn’t meant for my body.

issues vegan diet

Source: Granger Wootz / Getty

“But meat-eaters take vitamins”

I know what some may say here: that a diet full of animal products can still leave a body slightly deficient in nutrients, and even non-vegans need to take some vitamins. Yup—that’s absolutely true. But the nutrient deficiency caused by a meat-eating diet is minimal. The consequences of not taking vitamins, while eating meat products, are puny compared to the consequences of not taking vitamins on a vegan diet.

issues vegan diet

Source: mixetto / Getty

Vitamins should be supplemental

It’s right in the name: supplements. That means that they should give your nutrient profile a little boost, but they shouldn’t be your entire nutrient profile. Your food should do most of that work. Let’s put it this way: vitamins are to an omnivore diet as the cherry on top is to a cake. On a vegan diet, the supplements are the whole cake and you’re screwed without them.

issues vegan diet

Source: Moyo Studio / Getty

I didn’t want to rely on vitamins

I didn’t want to rely on vitamins and supplements in order to just function. I did try staying a vegan and taking supplements, and the supplements helped a lot! They really did. But if I forgot to take my B12 for three days, migraines and fatigue would come back. If I forgot to take my zinc for a few weeks, I’d get a cold. I didn’t like being so reliant on something (supplements) created in a lab. What would happen if I went on a multi-week trip and didn’t have access to a place to buy said supplements?

issues vegan diet

Source: LauriPatterson / Getty

It’s me or the animal

Look, this isn’t a pretty thought. It’s not. I understand that. But here’s the thing about me not eating animals, so the animals can live: I was dying. My body was falling apart so that I could theoretically save animals. If you really want to get macro about it and analyze it to death, if I had to choose between saving the life of a human and a chicken, I’d choose the human. Humans do things like cure cancer and develop solar energy products.

issues vegan diet

Source: Moyo Studio / Getty

We have the curse of consciousness

Here’s another thought that may not be appealing but is true. As humans, we are cursed with consciousness and empathy. When we kill animals for food, we feel bad about it, so many of us don’t want to do it. But um…do you think that animals in the wild give a sh*t what their prey feels when they hunt them for food?

issues vegan diet

Source: skynesher / Getty

Really: consider the wild

Do you think a lion sees a goat and says to his lion friend, “Leave him alone. He’s a living being. We shouldn’t hurt him.” I’m just saying: the food chain is one of the oldest systems in the history of life. We as humans are just cursed with empathy, so we struggle with the concept. But just because we, people, stop eating other living things doesn’t mean that we in any way will stop the fact that out there, in the wild, animals eat each other all of the time.

issues vegan diet

Source: Karen M. Romanko / Getty

I go for the humanely raised

You know how humans actually do get the whole food chain thing right? When we push for humanely-raised livestock and fish. Death is inevitable, but at least, in these circumstances, we ensure the life was good. And we also make sure the death was peaceful and humane.

issues vegan diet

Source: skynesher / Getty

Again, think about the wild

Do you think a lion who rips his prey to shreds in the wild concerns himself with the peaceful and humane death of his meal? Absolutely not. At least when I buy humane animal products, I gain some control over the controllable—aka the quality of life of the animal—while understanding that the food chain is something I can’t stop.

issues vegan diet

Source: raquel arocena torres / Getty

What about our pets?

Hello there you pet-owning vegans. Yes, I’m talking to you. What do you feed your pet? Is your German Shepherd eating kale and chickpeas? What about your cat? Is she happy to eat pureed carrots all day? The insane hypocrisy of it all is that many vegans do, without realizing it, acknowledge that the food chain is essential because they feed their pets animal products.

issues vegan diet

Source: Lucia Romero Herranz / EyeEm / Getty

I know, some pets are vegan

I understand there are pet owners who keep their pets on a vegan diet. But if you’re one such pet owner, then you know that that diet has to be so precariously and specifically prepared, and typically is most safely prepared by a professional, rather than yourself, if you don’t want to put your pet’s health at a huge risk. And that’s because, once again, pets aren’t really meant to be vegan. If the tiniest mistake in this direction or that direction in a vegan diet could mean fatal consequences for Fido, it’s because he’s not supposed to be a vegan.

issues vegan diet

Source: miodrag ignjatovic / Getty

I had to eat so much to keep on weight

When I was a vegan, I dropped from a healthy 122 pounds to a terrifying 108 pounds. It happened in a matter of six weeks or so. If you’re going to eat healthy vegan food—aka don’t just pound tofu and fake cheese—you need to eat massive amounts of food. Eating a truly balanced vegan diet required immense quantities of food. It’s like all I did was eat all day, and I could still barely keep weight on.

issues vegan diet

Source: miodrag ignjatovic / Getty

I have other things to do

I cannot surround my life around eating. As a vegan, I had to. I had to pack all of these carefully prepared snacks to bring everywhere. It ruled my life. I need a meal that is so densely and overwhelmingly packed with nutrients and calories that I can just eat a few times a day and move on with my life. You know how they say veganism is a lifestyle? Yeah, it’s more like your whole damn life because preparing the food takes so much time that you have to give up on other pursuits.

TRENDING ON MADAMENOIRE
Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN